LOCAL health workers are preparing to strike for four hours at the SWAH on Monday.

With unions stating they decided on the four hour strike rather than a full day, to minimise the impact on services during this cost-of-living crisis, the workers are calling for a pay rise in line with the current rate of inflation.

Last week, at the Save Our Acute Service rally in Enniskillen, NIPSA’s Patrick Mullholland pointed out how this and the other upcoming planned strikes could help secure services at the SWAH, by improving pay and making the healthcare sector a more attractive place to work.


The action will take place at both Omagh hospital and South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) between 8am and midday, where a full range of UNISON members, including nurses, support staff, transport workers and those involved with other services will take to the picket line in protest. In the same week, nursing staff associated with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will take to the picket line on Wednesday in yet another strike over pay.

The Western Trust has said a number of services will be impacted by the industrial action.

“Industrial action will take place on Monday 12 December for NIPSA, UNISON and GMB trade union members,” said a spokeswoman. “This will have impact on the provision of some hospital and community health and social care services across the Western Trust area.”

The Trust said a total of 625 new, routine and review outpatient appointments have been postponed across Altnagelvin Hospital, Omagh Primary Care and Treatment Centre and South West Acute Hospital.

“Where possible new appointments have already been allocated or will be allocated shortly via letter,” they said.

A total of 47 inpatient and day case procedures will also be postponed across the Trust, while locally the Drumcoo Physical and Sensory Disability Day Centre in Enniskillen, and Valley Day Centre in Clogher will be closed.

“We are aware that some service users in receipt of homecare may not receive their scheduled morning call, between the hours of 8am and 12 noon, if it is delivered by the Western Trust,” said the Trust spokeswoman. “We are asking for the help of family members and carers to assist us during these times by checking in with their relatives / neighbours that receive homecare services.”


Should an issue arise the Fermanagh number to call is 028 6634 2414.

The spokeswoman said other services may also be impacted.

“There will be limited catering facilities. Patient and client meals will be prioritised but this may include lighter options. Coffee shops in our hospitals will be closed. It is planned that restaurants will remain open but with a reduced service,” they said.

“There may be delays in answering calls by our hospital and health centre switchboards. It is advised to only call if your query or request is essential. Our hospital helpdesks may also operate a reduced service.

“We are currently in the process of making direct contact with our patients and service users, who will be impacted by the strike action. If you have not been contacted please assume that your care will proceed as planned. We sincerely regret this disruption and would ask for cooperation and patience at this challenging time.

“The Trust continues to work with Trades Unions and will provide a further information updates on our website or social media channels for more information.”

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA